Mediation: My hourly rate is $250 per hour for mediation services related to divorce, post-nuptial agreements, estate disputes, and elder care.
Corporate Trainings: My fee for corporate training, speaking engagements, business mediation and coaching is $300 per hour.
Coaching: My fee for couples work, individual communication coaching, family meeting facilitation among adult and minor members of the same household and work with families supporting young adults in their transition to independence is $250 per hour.
For mediation, there is no charge for first session if you decide not to engage Family Tree Mediation. This way there is no risk. Even if you decide not to continue, you get the free benefit of gaining further understanding about the options available to you for resolving the dispute you are experiencing. To schedule an appointment, you can call me at (650) 762-TREE [762-8733] or email me using the email form on our Contact Us page.
In a standard divorce mediation, the costs of obtaining your final Dissolution of Marriage Judgment fall into five parts: (1) pay-as-you-go session fees, (2) fees for work outside of session, generally (3) the 5-hour advance required prior to settlement drafting, (4) other costs, such as postage and printing, and (5) filing fees required by the court. A sixth type of cost is sometimes required: the fees charged by experts required to appraise property, prepare and file more complex orders requiring attorney assistance, provide forensic accounting appraisals, or other provide any other type of service beyond the scope of mediation.
1. Session Fees: My business model is largely "pay-as-you-go." I generally work in 2-hour sessions. My fee for mediation is $250 per hour, payable at the end of each session, with a 1-hour minimum per session, but after an hour, I only charge for the time of the actual session. Thus, if we come to a good stopping point after an hour and forty minutes, I charge you my rate for the one hour and forty minutes. I try not to schedule sessions back-to-back because often we will have momentum and will want to go beyond two-hours. In such cases, the same principle applies. I charge my rate for the time of the actual session.
2. Fees for Work Outside of Session: I charge the same $250 per hour rate for all work outside of session. This includes assistance with the court process, which involves preparation of the petition and response documents, proofs of service, preliminary and final disclosures and forms related to the filing of the final judgment. When clients work with me, I handle all the court paper work and you never have to deal directly with the court yourself. Other work outside of session includes, but is not limited to, occassional legal research, document review, answering emails from clients, preparing analyses or written memorandas helpful to resolving conflicts over the division of property or discussed support levels, communications with other professionals occassionally involved with your mediation process, such as accountants, consulting attorneys and others, and drafting the final settlement agreement. When work has been performed outside of session, I will generally provide a billing summary at the next session and ask for payment for the billed work along with the session fee. If there is a gap between sessions of more than three weeks, as often happens, I may at my discretion send out a month's end billing summary requesting payment for all time as yet unpaid. This pay-as-you-go model means you don't have to pay an expensive advance up front, but only pay for work after it has been performed.
3. 5-Hour Advance on Settlement Draft: As noted, my fee for drafting the marital settlement agreement negotiated in the mediation is also $250 per hour, but I do require payment up-front for 5 hours' work ($1,250) to ensure that before I invest a lot of time drafting the final product of the mediation process, my clients are invested in my work as well. After the initial 5-hour advance, I will provide a final billing summary that deducts the 5-hour advance from my time drafting the agreement and facilitating any final negotiations and revisions. If the process has not concluded thirty days after payment of the advance, I will send out each month a monthly bill for any unpaid time owing until the process is complete.
4. Other Charged Costs: I also pass on the cost of postage to my clients and charge a 4 cent per page printing fee when I print out disclosure documents required by the process. If travel to court is requested to expedite the process, I charge my hourly rate for travel time as well as my time filing papers at court.
5. Court Filing Fees Not Included. Filing and other fees charged by the court are not covered by either the flat fees or hourly fees charged by Family Tree Mediation. The mediating spouses will write checks covering such fees to be included with the documents to be filed by the mediator on behalf of the divorcing couple.
6. Fees for Expert Services Beyond the Scope of Mediation Not Included. Where the divorcing spouses choose to seek a QDRO or various other orders warranting legal help or where they seek the services of experts in valuing property or providing services beyond the scope of mediation, they will be responsible to pay the fees charged by the experts used.
Risk Free! There is no Charge for first session if you decide not to contract with Family Tree Mediation. This way there is no risk. Even if you decide not to continue, you get the free benefit of gaining further understanding about the divorce process and the options available to you. To schedule an appointment, you can call me at (650) 762-TREE [762-8733] or email me using the email form on our Contact Us page.
Advantages of Mediation
More Durable and Reliable Solutions: Mediation provides a safe and attentive space and process for each side to hear from the other the difficult things that often go unspoken in unmediated negotiations and that often are essential to reaching a wise and durable agreement.
Party Control over Process and Outcome: In mediation the parties control whether they reach agreement and what its terms will be. The parties are less likely to support the terms of a court-ordered solution they did not agree to or help craft.
Bad Behavior Discouraged: As a collaborative process, mediation discourages bad behaviors common in litigation, such as concealing information, overstating one’s position, and causing the other side needless expense.
Empowered by Personal Sense of Fairness: In mediation the parties can make their personal sense of fairness the most important factor determining the terms of their agreement. In court, they are at the mercy of how the judge interpretats the law.
Establishes New Patterns for the Future: The mediator helps participants let go of unconstructive communication patterns in exchange for healthier patterns that can improve the family's ability to handle future problems.
Economical, Efficient and More Satisfying: In litigation, one risks increasing animosity in a drawn-out fight costing more in attorney fees than is in dispute. Mediation, by contrast, often achieves mutually agreeable outcomes far more quickly at far less cost while helping heal old wounds.
Proactive Opportunities: Mediation may be used proactively to help parties better understand each other and so craft a creative agreement that will serve as a strong foundation for the future of their relationship. It is far better to talk about a conflict now than to live it later.
Proprietor of Family Tree Mediation
Serving Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park,
Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos
and the wider Peninsula & San Francisco Bay Area.